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Tubes pumping radioactive water are showing 'unusual' wear at San Onofre

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
David McNew/Getty Images

Tubes inside a new steam generator at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station are showing unusual and potentially dangerous signs of deterioration, federal regulators announced on Thursday.

"The amount of wear that we are seeing on these tubes is unusual for a new steam generator," said Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Victor Dricks. 

More than 800 tubes of the San Diego County plant showed a 10 percent thinning in the tube wall, officials said. 69 others had at least 20 percent thinning. And two tubes needed to be plugged and taken out of service because a third of the wall was worn away.

"If you have that kind of thinning anywhere along the length of the tube, you have a problem because it degrades the integrity of the tube, which can contribute to leaks," explained Dricks.

Safety implications could be "very severe," warned Joram Hopenfeld, a retired NRC engineer and researcher, as the tubes are one of the primary barriers to radioactivity


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Planned PR-hood: Susan G. Komen Foundation responds to backlash


Red-alert reaction to the pink ribbon organization has colored the past two days since breast-cancer research advocacy group Susan G. Komen For the Cure foundation announced it would be cutting its support for Planned Parenthood.

Widespread backlash over the loss of more than $600,000 in grant money for breast exams has many questioning if Komen caved to political pressure. A top Susan G. Komen official has resigned over the decision, The Atlantic reported.

Susan G. Komen founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker has issued a face-to-screen video response to the Planned Parenthood controversy. Affirming her 30-year commitment to helping women, she says the changes only reinforce the foundation's mission.



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Mark Berndt investigated 18 years ago for 'attempted fondling'

Accused teacher Mark Berndt.
L.A. Sheriff's Department


Mark Berndt, the longtime Los Angeles teacher accused of committing lewd acts on 23 children, was investigated but never charged in "an attempted fondling" of a young girl 18 years ago, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sgt. Dan Scott, who discovered the case while reviewing records Wednesday evening.

The suspected incident occurred in 1994, and was reported to by Miramonte Elementary officials, notes the L.A. Times. The girl, 10 or 11 years old at the time, told authorities that Berndt tried to touch her over her clothing near her genital area. Following a LASD investigation, the case was rejected by the district attorney's office. 

LAUSD Supt. John Deasy confirmed that he also learned of the alleged incident but said the sheriff’s office, not the district, had the records. Deasy has ordered an internal investigation of the 61-year-old suspect to see if district records of past incidents or suspicions exist.


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Court won't unseal video of landmark same-sex marriage trial

File: People watch a live telecast of a hearing about Prop 8 at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on December 6, 2010 in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A federal appeals court says it won't unseal video recordings of a landmark trial on the constitutionality of California's same-sex marriage ban.

Siding with the ban's supporters, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled Thursday that the public doesn't have the right to see the footage.

The 2010 trial was the first in a federal court to examine if prohibiting gay couples from marrying violates their constitutional rights.

The proceedings were open to the public and former U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker had staff members record them with the caveat that the footage would be used only by him to help him reach a verdict.

A coalition of media organizations and lawyers for the two couples who successfully sued to overturn Proposition 8 in Walker's court had petitioned to have the recordings made public on First Amendment grounds.


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Armed robbery charges for pair implicated in teen slaying

24-year-old Jason Schuman and a 19-year-old Elizabeth Ibarra have been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Francisco Rodriguez.
Photo by KimNBCLA via Twitter

Jason Schumann and Elizabeth Ibarra, the pair implicated in the targeted killing of 17-year-old El Camino Real High School soccer player Francisco Rodriguez, were charged with armed robbery on Wednesday for an incident that occurred at the end of last year, the L.A. Times reported.

19-year-old Ibarra and 24-year-old Schumann used a handgun to rob a man of his cell phone behind a market in the San Fernando Valley on Dec. 29. Schumann, a Calabasas resident, has also been charged in the Jan. 11 Winnetka killing of the teen goalie. Rodriguez was fatally shot in the front yard of his home after being lured outside by a woman believed to be Ibarra, who is believed to be Schumann's girlfriend, according to authorities.

Ibarra remains in jail on a probation violation. Schumann is being held on $2-million bail. The murder weapon, believed to be in the Calabasas landfill in Agoura, was not found during a recent search.


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